Somaliland: The Growing International Recognition For Recognition

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“In the case of Somaliland, insistence by the African Union on the increasingly abstract notion of the unity and territorial integrity of the Somali Republic, with Somalilanders governed again from Mogadishu, is both unrealistic and unsupported by more than twenty years of state practice. Any attempt to re-impose centralized control by Mogadishu would almost certainly open a new chapter in the Somali civil war.” Louise Arbor, President & CEO of the International Crisis Group (2011)

Somalilandsun – Despite its 23 years of unrecognized status, Somaliland has emerged as a nation in its own rights and according to former US Defence secretary Robert Gates “Somaliland is an entity that works.”

Termed “The Unrecognized De-facto African State” whose two decades of non –recognition does not deter it, Somaliland, from maintaining etiquettes of, and acting as a De-facto state, Somaliland has entered into informal and formal relationships with a number of other states, and has also achieved de facto recognition from a number of other nations around the world where it has official representation.

Some of these countries are sympathetic towards the Somaliland quest for international recognition

i. “Somaliland is an entity that works.” Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defense 2006-2011 (2008)

ii. “The UK is proud of its historical ties to Somaliland, and we are keen to maintain and strengthen our very close bilateral relationship.”Henry Bellingham, UK Africa Minister (November 2011)

iii. “The people of Somaliland have worked extremely hard to rebuild their country and community, and they deserve our help and support. Sir Tony Baldry MP, former UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Undersecretary of State (2004

As a number of international institutions among them AU, ICG, Brenthurst Foundation that upon studies have produced reports that indicate the unilateral determination of Somalilanders for Sovereignty and the security disaster of reunion with Somalia as they warn that “Any attempt to re-impose centralized control by Mogadishu would almost certainly open a new chapter in the Somali civil war.”

I. 2008 African Union fact-finding mission to Somaliland

 The mission found a similar widespread conviction among Somalilanders of their country’s “irreversible” independence and outright rejection of the notion of union with Somalia.

 The mission recommended that “As a peace dividend, the international community should provide institutional capacity building support to Somaliland infrastructure and facilitate its access to the international and regional financial institutions and banking systems.”

II. .” Louise Arbor, President & CEO of the International Crisis Group (2011)

“In the case of Somaliland, insistence by the African Union on the increasingly abstract notion of the unity and territorial integrity of the Somali Republic, with Somalilanders governed again from Mogadishu, is both unrealistic and unsupported by more than twenty years of state practice. Any attempt to re-impose centralized control by Mogadishu would almost certainly open a new chapter in the Somali civil war

III. 2011 Brenthurst Foundation Study Report

“At a time when ‘ungoverned spaces’ have emerged as a major source of global concern,

not least in this region of the world, it is deeply ironic that the international community deny

itself the opportunity to extend the reach of global governance in a way that would be both beneficial to itself, and to the people of Somaliland.”

IV. 2006 International Crisis Group report

” It stated that Somalilanders consider recognition as an “existential” issue and sovereignty as “a matter of identity” warning that “The African Union’s challenge is to provide timely, neutral leadership in order to ensure a just, peaceful and enduring settlement, before confrontation and violence becomes the only option imaginable by both parties.”

V.

The UN and regional blocks like the AU, IGAD and the EU are very conversant with the dertermination of Somalilanders to their country’s sovereignty and legality of these quest but prefer to turn deaf and blind as they await a bold members recognition.

iv. “The European Union welcomes the contribution that Somaliland is making to peace and good governance in the region. It is an encouraging example of peace, democracy and stability.”

Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development (2011)

Meanwhile on 18th May 2014 the resilient people of Somaliland commemorated their 23rd anniversary of Self rule without recognition

Read The Recognition of Somaliland: Growing international engagement and backing

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